ancient culture

Irra – the Warrior God

The Practitioner of the Simon Necronomicon may have noticed that the Book has several Names of unknown Deities. These Names are mentioned, but are not really further explained. At first it may seem that those Names have no real connection to our Workings, but with some effort, and with the help of various books we can discover the importance of these unknown Deities.

One of these Names caught my attention. At first I thought that it was a printing error, and should have read GIRRA, but after some research I discovered that it was a genuine Name from a powerful Deity. The Name of this warlike Deity is IRRA, and can be found on page 199 of the Simon Necronomicon in the Hymn to the Ancient Ones, which here follows:

  • “They are lying down, the Great Old Ones.
  • The bolts are fallen and the fastenings are placed.
  • The crowds are quiet and the people are quiet.
  • The Elder Gods of the Land
  • The Elder Goddesses of the Land
  • SHAMMASH
  • SIN
  • ADAD
  • ISHTAR
  • Have gone to sleep in heaven.
  • They are not pronouncing judgements.
  • They are not deciding decisions.
  • Veiled is the Night.
  • The Temple and the Most Holy Places are quiet and dark.
  • The Judge of Truth
  • The Father of the Fatherless
  • SHAMMASH
  • Has gone to his chamber.
  • O Ancient Ones!
  • Gods of the Night!
  • AZABUA!
  • IAK SAKKAK!
  • KUTULU!
  • NINNGHIZHIDDA!
  • O Bright One, GIBIL!
  • O Warrior, IRRA!
  • Seven Stars of Seven Powers!
  • Ever-Shining Star of the North!
  • SIRIUS!
  • DRACONIS!
  • CAPRICORNUS!
  • Stand by and accept
  • This sacrifice I offer
  • May it be acceptable
  • To the Most Ancient Gods!

In this Hymn, Irra is identified as a Warrior. This is correct, as Irra, also known as Erra, is the God of Scorched Earth and War. The book Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia written by Jeremy Black and Anthony Green tells us the following about Irra, on page 136:

“Erra was, especially, a violent warlike god, particularly responsible for plagues. He too was worshipped at the E-meslam at Kutu, with his wife Mami.”

This would suggest that Irra was an independent Deity, who was, next to some major Deity, worshipped at the Temple called E-meslam, or Meslam House, which was situated at Kutu in Babylonia. Who was this major Deity who was worshipped at Kutu? And is there any connection between Irra and this Deity?

Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia tells us the following, on page 135:

“The gods Nergal and Erra were originally separate deities, but later became so closely identified as to lose their independent characters. Since Nergal was worshipped at the temple called E-meslam at Kutu in Babylonia, he was also sometimes known under the name Meslamta-ea, ‘he who comes forth from the Meslam’ ; later he was also identified with Lugal-irra.”

This confirms that there is a connection between Irra and Nergal, as these two Deities had become one and the same in the form of Nergal, who was indeed a Warrior Deity and had dwelt in Cutha, as can be read on page 28 of the Simon Necronomicon, which tells us the following:

“The God of Mars is the mighty NERGAL. He has the head of a man on the body of a lion, and bears a sword and a flail. He is the God of War, and of the fortunes of War. He was sometimes thought to be an agent of the Ancient Ones, for he dwelt in CUTHA for a time.”

That “Nergal dwelt in CUTHA for a time” refers to the Cult of Nergal, which was at Cutha, an ancient Mesopotamian city which was located north of the site of Kish in what is now south-central Iraq.

Irra: The Warrior God

Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia tells us, on page 136, the following:

“In Babylonian art, Nergal is represented as a god dressed in a long, open-fronted robe, often with one leg bared and advanced, as can be seen in the picture above, his foot often placed upon a raised support or trampling a man. He usually carries a scimitar and a single- or double-headed lion-sceptre, which, as independent motifs, also served to symbolise the god.”

So, that single Name, of the Warrior Irra, is just another Name for the great Warrior God pictured above – the great God Nergal, who is the Deity of the Fifth Gate.

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